Sunday, May 28, 2017

My Whole Life

Golden Path, oil on linen, 24x18 inches 

"How long did it take you to paint that?" I have heard this question many times from people as they stand next to me gazing at one of my paintings. It happened again today at an art festival in Denver, Colorado. Two young women were in my booth looking at the paintings. Pointing to a piece, one asked the question.

Years ago, I would recoil and think that since the price is apparent, I would be telling how much I make per hour, which might seem like alot if taken by itself. But what about all the failed attempts, the schooling and experimentation, the hours of promotion and gallery work, etc.? So much more is behind the scenes that is included in the price.

After more thinking about what really is in each painting, I began responding, "It took me my whole life to paint it." And it is true. I find that when people hear this, they have a glimmer of recognition, and after a brief shock, enjoy the answer. "Why yes, of course," I hear them reply with satisfaction.

For more art: Steven Boone

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Dazzling Sunset

A dazzling sunset is food for my soul. The fiery spectacle is fleeting and lasts but a short while before turning to dusk and then black of night. Clouds must be present and form in the west as the sun is setting.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA where I live, dramatic sunsets occur regularly. Over the years I have watched them with eyes wide open and heart thankful. I photograph and make paintings from the scenes.
I posted a sunset photo to Facebook about a month ago, and an art collector in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, messaged me: "Steve - Really like that picture you posted yesterday of the sunset.    Simply breathtaking!     Really like the deep blues in the sky!   Are you going to paint this?    I would be interested!     Could you do it on a 40"x40" canvas & paint the sides?    I'd want it for my living room to hang above my fireplace mantle."  

I responded that I would love to do the painting. He sent me a photo of the space, then I photoshopped an approximation of what it would look like.

I made the painting and as good fortune would have it, I needed to drive to Tulsa, Oklahoma for an art show and so drove it to Roger's home, installed it and enjoyed his hospitality for an evening before saying good-bye and continuing on to Tulsa.


More art by Steven Boone

Sunday, May 07, 2017

A Title Is Evocative

Sublime Touch, by Steven Boone, oil on  linen, 30 x 40 inches

After thirty years of making art and thousands of paintings, occasionally I have run out of ideas for titles. Probably some have been used twice. Especially since my sunsets are so popular—how many titles can I invent for sunsets? I have used Sunset Sublime, Sunset Song, Western Glow, Western Drama, Path To The West, Western Touch, Sunset Surprise. One of my very favorites is Heartfire, a title I collaborated on. It is a large painting.
At present I am working on a commission, a large sunset that I might name Heart Song.

A title helps a viewer get in touch with an artists' feelings about his work, and perhaps understand the intention behind it. A title is evocative at best, and disappointing at worst, e.g. when a work is labelled "Untitled".

During the heyday of abstract expressionism, titles were kept to a bland neutrality, so as not to influence someones experience of the artwork. A work might be titled Monday, because it was created on a Monday. Jackson Pollock (American, January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) gave his pictures conventional titles at first, but changed to numbers. He commented: “…look passively and try to receive what the painting has to offer and not bring a subject matter or preconceived idea of what to look for.” Pollock’s wife, Lee Krasner (American, October 27, 1908 – June 19, 1984), said Pollock “used to give his pictures conventional titles… but now he simply numbers them. Numbers are neutral. They make people look at a picture for what it is – pure painting.”

Jackson Pollock  Number 1A, 1948